Thursday, August 22, 2013

If Only ONE

In my last two posts I have talked about how I've been fighting anxiety this summer, and last time I shared about two techniques that I tried that seem to be helping. I'm also trying one other thing that could be a key to a variety of emotional strains - the anxiety, frequent feelings of being overwhelmed, setting unrealistic expectations and disappointment when I can't meet those expectations.

I am trying to focus on ONE - one thing at a time. I have so many passions and projects and ideas and interests, I can easily be paralyzed by so many choices. Not only am I wondering what I should do next - work or read or crafts - but then there are the myriad of choices within each choice. It's ridiculous.

It would be easy to say that I should just NOT be that person, but it is too much a part of my pattern, a part of who I've been for a long time. It's hard to turn that part of me off.

So I started focusing on just the next choice. Not my next five books, but the ONE I'm going to read right now. I ask myself, "If I can only read one more book this summer (or month or whatever), what is the ONE I want to read?" When I want to be crafty, I ask "What is the ONE project that captures my interest right now?" rather than listing every option I have in the house over and over, wondering what to choose, until my crafting time has disappeared.

When this summer started, I had a list of books I was going to read. Even though I read over 100 books on my break from school, only a few items got crossed off my master list, leaving me feeling like I failed in some way. But if I focus on today and on ONE thing - the right-now thing - maybe I can step out from under the pressure I put on myself. Sure, I'll still make lists. They help me organize my thoughts and prioritize and not forget things. But hopefully I can then choose the ONE next thing and set the rest of the list aside for awhile.

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